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Statute Law Review Advance Access

Published: Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2018 15:47:10 GMT


Privacy and Publicly Available Information: An Analysis of the Common Law and Statutory Protection in Hong Kong

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

The emergence of different forms of cyber technology has effectively transformed how information is disseminated and abuses can be done effortlessly. A person may voluntarily upload pictures or other information about himself on social media, but he may not consent to an investigator digging information about him albeit information published voluntarily by himself in the first place. The same goes with personal information disclosed by mandatory means. While it is wrongful to publish or disclose private information, the position may not be so clear in relation to publicly available information. Can a person disclose or publish private information of another person when such information is available to a certain category of people? Can a company compile personal data of litigants involved in bankruptcy proceedings and transfer such data to employment agencies for a fee? This article seeks to identify available actions in Hong Kong both under common law and the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance. It further analyses the existence of the so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ under the Ordinance focusing on two recent Hong Kong decisions on publicly available information. It compares with the position in the EU and concludes with a proposal to strengthen protection in these areas.

The Doctrine of Severability in Constitutional Review: A Perspective from Singapore

Wed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 GMT

The Singapore Court of Appeal’s decision in Prabagaran a/l Srivijayan v. Public Prosecutor represents a substantial development in Singapore’s law on the doctrine of severability in constitutional review. An examination of Prabagaran reveals rich theoretical underpinnings relating to the nature of legislative intent. The case rightly locates the crux of the severability inquiry in secondary legislative intention: in other words, the legislature’s intention, at the time a statute was enacted, as to what should happen in the event that part of the statute is later held to be unconstitutional. This approach is preferable to the approach of asking whether excision of unconstitutional parts of the legislation would leave behind something that is ‘substantially a different law’, an approach that can lead to the judicial frustration of legislative policy. The search for secondary legislative intent is not just a matter of speculation; Prabagaran demonstrates how it may be inferred from evidence such as the structure of legislation, legislative history, and speeches in Parliament. In addition, Prabagaran highlights the importance of applicants’ identifying precisely the object of a constitutional challenge and the exact reliefs sought.

Greenspace Governance: Statutory Solutions from Scotland?

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT

The environmental, social, and economic benefits provided by greenspace are well documented, and the closure of other types of Third Place has popularized them further. Yet, public sector funding cuts have necessitated local authorities prioritizing other facilities that they are statutorily obliged to provide, resulting in a facilities-hierarchy that leaves financially neglected greenspaces facing a vicious circle of decline. The Big Society agenda has seen local authorities increasingly rely on the voluntary sector to help plug the funding gap, yet there are concerns that such groups are not immune from the effects of austerity themselves, which limit their panacean abilities. In exploring whether statute could provide any answers to these greenspace governance challenges, this article considers the lessons to be learned from the approach adopted in Scotland, underpinned by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 (‘the 2003 Act’). In particular, the 2003 Act establishes public rights of access over most greenspace, a local authority duty to uphold these rights and local authority powers to take remedial action. While there have been some issues in implementation, this article explores the potential for adopting a similar model in England and Wales to help secure the future of its greenspace infrastructure.